Charles Jacobs (political activist)

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Charles Jacobs
Born Newark, New Jersey
Alma mater Rutgers University, Harvard University
Known for political activist

Charles Jacobs is head of Americans for Peace and Tolerance, which he co-founded in late 2008.[1] Jacobs also co-founded The David Project Center for Jewish Leadership in 2002, which he led until July 2008.[2] Jacobs is also co-founder of the American Anti-Slavery Group (1994), which campaigns against slavery worldwide, and co-chair of The Sudan Campaign (2000), a coalition calling for an end to slavery in Sudan.[3] Earlier in his career, beginning in 1989, Jacobs served as Deputy Director of the Boston chapter of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).[4] Jacobs has appeared on the major U.S. television networks, on National Public Radio, and has been published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Jacobs was born in Newark, New Jersey.[5] He was active in the civil rights movement as a teenager, and in 1963, attended Martin Luther King's March on Washington.[3] He graduated from Rutgers University in 1966[6] and earned a Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D.) from Harvard University in 1988.[7]

Early career and CAMERA[edit]

In the late 1980s, Jacobs served as the Deputy Director of the Boston Chapter of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), a media watchdog that responds to media bias against Israel. Throughout the following decade, he pursued a career as an international management consultant, working as a publicist, advertising campaign promoter, and speech writer for several organizations and became a member of public relations firm and speakers' bureau Benador Associates.

American Anti-Slavery Group and The Sudan Campaign[edit]

Jacobs learned about the continuing existence of slavery in North Africa in 1993.[3] The next year Jacobs left his job to found the American Anti-Slavery Group with African human rights activists Mohamed Athie of Mauritania and David Chand of Sudan, beginning to work full-time as the organization's first research director.[8] The next year, in 2003, Mohamed Athie became president of the AASG, while Jacobs served on its board as treasurer.[9] On September 18, 2000, in recognition of his work for the American Anti-Slavery Group and as its president, he received the Boston Freedom Award in a ceremony attended by Boston mayor Thomas Menino and Coretta Scott King, who presented it.[10]

Jacobs was appointed director of The Sudan Campaign in May 2000,[3] serving as one of its four co-chairmen since 2004.[11] On September 28, 2000, Jacobs testified to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with three survivors of slavery from around the world. In April 2001, his biography states that he "joined a slave redemption mission in Sudan that helped liberate over 2,900 enslaved women and children."[3]

The David Project[edit]

In 2002, Jacobs founded The David Project Center for Jewish Leadership in 2002. The organization's stated aim is "to positively shape campus opinion on Israel by educating, training, and empowering student leaders to be thoughtful, strategic and persuasive advocates."[12]

While heading The David Project, in early 2005 Jacobs asked at a local community gathering that the Newton, Massachusetts Public-access television station stop broadcasting the program Mosaic: World News from the Middle East, accusing the program of having anti-Semitic and anti-American content. Noting that Newton has a sizable Jewish population, Jacobs stated that showing Mosaic was "like bringing the KKK into" the city." In particular, Jacobs protested how the show presented news programs from Arab television station. He said those stations, "in their un-whitewashed form, teach the Arab world that the Jews are killers. To pretend that these stations are like an Arab version of CNN is a lie, it's a deception."[13]

In 2007, Leonard Fein, founder of the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy and Moment Magazine, stated regarding Jacobs, "The David Project, his principal vehicle, is an ongoing disservice to the Jewish community. Where bridges might be built, it prefers confrontation; where sober analysis is called for, it opts for polemic; worst of all, wherever there is reason for hope, it insists on fear."[14]

In July 2008, Jacobs resigned as President of the David Project "in order to focus on a new initiative in support of the Jewish community."[2]

Americans for Peace and Tolerance[edit]

In 2008 Jacobs co-founded Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), an organization devoted to exposing Islamic extremism.[15] APT's website states its purpose is to "promote peaceful coexistence in an ethnically diverse America by educating the American public about the need for a moderate political leadership that supports tolerance and core American values in communities across the nation."[16]

The group was a major critic of construction of a $15.6 million mosque and community center in Roxbury, because, it asserts, the group building the mosque is led and controlled by extremist leaders and contributors.[17][18]

Criticism of Jewish leaders supportive of Muslim institutions[edit]

Jacobs has criticized Jewish leaders for providing support to Muslim leaders and institutions that he accuses of anti-Semitism and other faults.[19] "As mosques, funded by Saudi Arabia, and controlled by radical Muslim organizations, expand across America – unopposed – Jewish leaders fail to respond. Here too, "making nice" – through "dialogues" and outreach programs such as "twinning" synagogues and Islamic centers – is the Jewish establishment's primary response. And even when, as in Boston and Buffalo, such naïveté backfires, and Jews find instead of sincere and peaceful partners to shake hands with that they have been hoodwinked by Islamist anti-Semites, Jewish leaders remain silent."[19]

Criticism of the Anti-Defamation League[edit]

Jacobs' personal website includes a section entitled, "Is ADL Failing?" The section contains posts criticizing the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).[20] In "ADL: Fighting Yesterday's Battles," Jacobs writes, "But aren’t Jews funding ADL to do the hard work of exposing our enemies? Shouldn’t the ADL chapter ... educate black leaders as well as law enforcement officials about the menace of Islamic anti-Semitism? Isn’t that what the ADL is supposed to be doing? The transformation of ADL into a politically correct, liberal organization creates a leadership vacuum for the Jewish community."[21] ADL responded in a June 2012 op-ed, which stated that "two problems with demagoguery are that it is unfair to its intended objects and that it undermines the credibility and effectiveness of the person guilty of it. This, regrettably, is well-illustrated by Charles Jacobs' current campaign against the Anti-Defamation League and Abraham Foxman, its head ..."[22]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Americans for Peace and Tolerance: About". Peaceandtolerance.org. July 26, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "The "David Project Announces Change in Leadership" | The David Project Website". Davidproject.org. March 19, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2010. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d e f Biography for Charles Jacobs[dead link] at Benador Associates; cf. "'Freedom Brigade' Theme of Speakers Forum"[dead link], archived online in The Jewish Journal (Boston North) May 10–23, 2002. Retrieved July 25, 2006.
  4. ^ A Brief History of CAMERA." After 1991, the Boston chapter, founded in 1988 and headed by Andrea Levin, "became the national – and eventually the only – office of CAMERA. . . ."
  5. ^ Information from Charles Jacobs, free audio excerpt, "Freeing Modern-Day Slaves: Program 15", produced by Human Media. Retrieved July 25, 2006.
  6. ^ Online alumni record locator, Rutgers University. Retrieved July 29, 2006.
  7. ^ Harriett Green, "The Alumni: Social Educator," Harvard Magazine May–June 2002. Retrieved July 29, 2006.
  8. ^ Press release AASG "Profile," Arrivenet.com n.d. (copyright 2003–2006), accessed July 25, 2006. [N.B.: The date of this press release is unknown; however, compared to more recent sources (e.g., corporate filings in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts), some of its information appears not to be current; it may date from 2003–2004.] Cf. information from free audio excerpt of Charles Jacobs, "Freeing Modern-Day Slaves: Program 15."
  9. ^ Non-profit corporation "Summary Sheet" for American Anti-Slavery Group, Inc., The Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Corporations Division 2001–2006. Retrieved July 27, 2006.
  10. ^ The "Boston Freedom Award Program" was part of "Boston 2000"; see "Millennium Events in Massachusetts: Boston 2000," online posting, Millennium World 1999–2000, accessed July 27, 2006. See also Nat Hentoff, "Caucus Speaks Out on Slavery in Sudan," Jewish World Review December 11, 2000, accessed July 25, 2006. On presenting the award, the late Mrs. King appealed to "'all freedom-loving people to become informed about slavery in Sudan and other nations, to help us build a global movement to eradicate this atrocity.'" According to his Benador Associates speakers' bureau biography, Mrs. King also said: "Dr. Jacobs, I am personally inspired by your tireless dedication to alleviate the oppression of chattel slavery," adding "Your efforts have given a powerful voice and new hope to the victims of this festering injustice."
  11. ^ "Thank you CBC": Letter to the Honorable Sanford Bishop, October 8, 2004, The Sudan Campaign n.d.. Retrieved July 27, 2006.
  12. ^ "About Us: The David Project Website". Davidproject.org. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  13. ^ Sarah Andrews, "Arab News Program Sparks Outcry," The Newton Tab January 20, 2004, Free Press n.d.; Rhonda Stewart, "Middle East News Reports Are Not Welcomed by All," The Boston Globe February 5, 2004; and Matt Viser, "Mideast Cable Show to Air 5 days," The Boston Globe January 6, 2005; all accessed July 30, 2006.
  14. ^ [1](PDF). Berman Jewish Policy Archive
  15. ^ Paulson, Michael (June 28, 2009). "At mosque opening, tensions permeate interfaith gathering – The Boston Globe". Boston.com. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Mission and About Us". Americans for Peace and Tolerance. November 20, 2008. Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
  17. ^ Paulson, Michael (June 26, 2009). "Muslim community to celebrate mosque’s ceremonial opening – The Boston Globe". Boston.com. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Boston area Jews split on Tamir. Russian emigrants demand Israeli envoy's recall, while mainstream groups support him – Jerusalem Post | HighBeam Research – FREE trial". Google.com. August 11, 2009. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  19. ^ a b "Charles Jacob's Blog | Politics, News and Trends From a New Perspective". Charlesjacobs.org. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Charles Jacob's Blog". Charlesjacobs.org. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Charles Jacob's Blog". Charlesjacobs.org. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  22. ^ Campaign Against ADL Tramples The Truth By Barry Shrage and Jeff Robbins Anti-Defamation League, June 1, 2012

External links[edit]